Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE, is the founding Director of V&A East, a museum and collection centre presently under construction. He was previously the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. He is a curator and cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture. 

Over the course of his career, Gus has been a constant champion for the arts. He has presented two television series of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC (and written a companion book for them), two SKY TV series of Tate Britain: Great Art Walks, and has worked for every major British TV channel. His TED talk on Islamic culture has been viewed more than a million times. 

Gus is also a former Executive Director of Arts Strategy at the Arts Council England (Britain’s major arts funder) and a former Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art. He has lectured widely on art and culture and has advised national and international bodies on heritage and culture, including the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils.

In 2018, Gus' contribution to the arts was formally acknowledged when he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen. Amongst a range of honours, he has also been awarded a Kings College Cultural Fellowship for service to the arts and a SOAS Honorary Fellowship for services to Africa.

Gus has been a trustee of both the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery, a committee member on the Tate Britain Council, a Caine Prize trustee, and he has sat on the 'Tate For All' Board.